Red wine vs. white? It makes no difference when it comes to breast-cancer risk

Mar 09, 2009

The largest study of its kind to evaluate the effect of red versus white wine on breast-cancer risk concludes that both are equal offenders when it comes to increasing breast-cancer risk. The results of the study, led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, were published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

"We were interested in teasing out red wine's effects on breast-cancer risk. There is reason to suspect that might have beneficial effects based on previous studies of heart disease and prostate cancer," said lead author Polly Newcomb, Ph.D., M.P.H., head of the Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center. "The general evidence is that overall increases breast-cancer risk, but the other studies made us wonder whether red wine might in fact have some positive value."

Instead, Newcomb and colleagues found no compelling reason to choose Chianti over Chardonnay.

"We found no difference between red or in relation to breast-cancer risk. Neither appears to have any benefits," Newcomb said. "If a woman drinks, she should do so in moderation - no more than one drink a day. And if a woman chooses red wine, she should do so because she likes the taste, not because she thinks it may reduce her risk of ," she said.

The researchers found that women who consumed 14 or more drinks per week, regardless of the type (wine, liquor or beer), faced a 24 percent increase in breast cancer compared with non-drinkers.

For the study, the researchers interviewed 6,327 women with breast cancer and 7,558 age-matched controls about their frequency of alcohol consumption (red wine, white wine, liquor and beer) and other breast-cancer risk factors, such as age at first pregnancy, family history of breast cancer and postmenopausal hormone use. The study participants, ages 20 to 69, were from Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The frequency of alcohol consumption was similar in both groups, and equal proportions of women in both groups reported consuming red and white wine.

Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Explore further: Urine HPV test could offer non-invasive alternative to conventional smear, improve screening uptake

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Red wine decreases the risk of lung cancer

Oct 07, 2008

Moderate consumption of red wine may decrease the risk of lung cancer in men, according to a report in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention¸ a journal of the American Association for Ca ...

Two or more drinks a day may increase pancreatic cancer risk

Mar 03, 2009

Men and women who consume two or more alcoholic drinks a day could increase their risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the Am ...

Migraines associated with lower risk of breast cancer

Nov 06, 2008

Women who suffer from migraines may take at least some comfort in a recent, first-of-its-kind study that suggests a history of such headaches is associated with a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. Christopher I. ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0